i wish i could get everyone to try yoga. it’s becoming wildly more popular (woohoo!) + mindfulness is a hot topic as well. it’s amazing to see this shift as more people become accepting to try yoga. i’m super excited (like,beyond excited) to be starting my yoga teacher training in 2016. i want to immerse myself even more in the practice + continue to bring the knowledge i gain into other areas of life. i really aspire to help others through teaching someday as well.
so, i wanted to share 5 ways yoga has changed me. all for the better. although i didn’t include the fact that i can stand on my head, or balance in asanas because of increased strength, those changes are pretty awesome too. here we go…
1. it helped my body dysmorphia. the most powerful gift of yoga was when i started to see my body through a pair of compassionate, loving lenses. throughout years of disordered eating + poor body image i had become jaded + distant from the reality of my inner + physical beauty as well as my body’s strength + shape. my daily level of anxiety determined the severity in which i criticized my body. with each practice i felt that criticism decease, + the weight on my chest become less heavy.
2. i feel peace on my mat. i have dealt with anger, distrust, uncertainty + fear getting in the way of my positivity + progress. no more. that is the past. my anxiety has greatly reduced since becoming a yogi + i encourage anyone who has experienced a mental health struggle or mental illness to give yoga a chance.
3. yoga changed the way i saw others. less judgement. no hierarchy or competition between you + your neighbor. we are all just living, breathing beings doing what we can to navigate this life. when i began to empty the space where judgement used to reside in my brain, it allowed for more beautiful, positive thoughts. guess what was next? more happiness. i started showing compassion for others. the shift also encouraged me to make a change to a plant based diet, so i am very thankful. i also noticed new opportunities + better experiences began to appear in my life. call it luck, call it karma, i choose to call it yoga.
4. yoga changed the way i saw myself. having compassion for yourself is never selfish. through my experiences + time in treatment, i met others who struggled like myself in providing themselves self love. i’ve mentioned it in previous posts, but self love allows for remarkable things to happen. this blog wouldn’t even exist. it took time + confidence to take a step like this. to start putting myself in a vulnerable space (the damn internet). yoga is about acceptance, of where you are in a pose as well as life. it’s about what you learn rather than what you look like, + the mat is a place to feel safe, serene + confident in exactly who you are at the present moment. don’t we wish every situation was like loving?? yoga gave me the confidence to accept inner peace.
5. yoga taught me to let go of the past. the past is scary, the future sometimes even more frightening. but rather than continue to replay the past + fill it with resentment or “what if’s”- i decided to go with the “oh, well i’m here now” approach instead. being present makes the past go away. it really can be that simple. through various mindfulness exercises + a regular yoga practice the mind can begin to rewire itself to that state of presence + therefore, a greater state of happiness.
i hope i don’t sound preachy, i’m just passionate. give it a shot. i had no idea what it would do for me. i look forward go yoga teacher training. i look forward to everyday on my mat, even if only for a few minutes. the flexibility + strength cultivated in my body has also shaped my mind. that’s a pretty remarkable thing, if you ask me.
what has your experience with yoga been? what do you love about the practice? what have you learned + continue to learn from yoga? feel free to share below! i would love to hear from fellow yogis who kale’ it in the studio as well as out in the world because of what yoga has taught them.